Health Requirements

In addition to meeting the immunization requirements of Berkeley College, students in the Surgical Technology program must complete a physical assessment by a licensed physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or physician assistant at least 10 weeks prior to the start of Operating Room Clinical Practicum I (SUR2280). In addition, students also must provide appropriate proof of immunity as follows:

  • Blood titers for measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella
  • Immunization records or blood titers for hepatitis B
  • A two-step PPD skin test within the last year or negative chest x-ray within three months
  • A tetanus shot administered within the past 10 years

Clinical affiliates require all clinical students to have a yearly influenza vaccine. A COVID vaccine and available boosters are strongly recommended. Please note that some sites may also require weekly PCR testing in addition to the COVID vaccination series. Failure to comply with these immunization requirements may prohibit students from attending clinical courses. Clinical affiliates also may require students to provide proof of individual health insurance or be an eligible dependent or beneficiary of another person’s accident and health insurance policy. Students not able to meet this requirement may find it difficult to complete the required clinical rotation(s) and/or progress in the program. 

A negative 12-panel pre-clinical urine toxicology screening is also required. This includes screening for:

  • Amphetamines
  • Barbituates
  • Benzodiazepine
  • Cannabinoids
  • Cocaine
  • Meperidine
  • Methadone
  • Opiates
  • Oxycodone
  • Phencyclidine
  • Propoxyphene
  • Tramadol

Any student who fails to submit the documentation outlined above will not be permitted to enroll in Operating Room Clinical Practicum I.

Upon readmission, reinstatement, or returning from a Leave of Absence, a student must repeat the drug screening outlined above prior to participating in any clinical rotations. If during the course of study students are suspected of drug use, they may be asked to provide an updated urine toxicology screening. The cost associated with these repeat drug screenings will be borne by the student.

A negative drug screen is required to progress in the Surgical Technology program. Students with a positive drug screen result will be required to meet with the Department Chair and/or School Dean to discuss continuation in the program.  A student’s drug screen is not considered positive until a determination is made that the results are not due to legally prescribed and appropriately taken prescription medications and the student has been offered the opportunity to have their original sample retested at the student’s expense. If the positive drug results are not due to legally prescribed prescription medications, the students will be removed from the program and will not be eligible for reentry. If during the course of study students are suspected of drug use, they may be asked to provide an updated urine toxicology screening. The cost associated with this repeat drug screening will be at the student’s expense.

By submitting the results of a urine toxicology screening to the College, the student thereby authorizes the College to share those results with any individual clinical facilities that request such information.

Health Advisory

Berkeley College’s Surgical Technology program is physically and mentally challenging. During the laboratory and clinical portions of the program, students will be exposed to healthcare situations where there is an increased risk of exposure to strenuous activity, communicable diseases, radiation, and toxic substances.

Students may be exposed to a variety of other situations and substances which could potentially affect students with medical conditions that include, but are not limited to, asthma, allergies, and pregnancy. If a student becomes pregnant during the practicum, these exposures can harm the student’s unborn baby.  If you are concerned, you should consult with your healthcare provider prior to participating in the clinical practicum to ensure you are physically capable of remaining in the program and meeting all relevant technical standards outlined in this Handbook. Neither Berkeley College nor its affiliating clinical agencies shall be held responsible for any harm that might occur to a fetus or pregnant student.

Any student who is unable to continue in clinical courses based on the recommendation of her/his healthcare provider will be afforded the opportunity, once medically cleared, to return to the program pending course availability.